Kiss Kill Vanish by Jessica Martinez

Challenge 46 ~ ” A crime story.”


★ ★ ★ ★ ★

When I was planning my reading challenge, Kiss Kill Vanish sounded like the ideal crime story from the blurb, and yet after reading I realise it was so much more. It wasn’t your typical Crime Story, but more of a story about crime. It certainly wasn’t a five-star read for me throughout, either – I was hooked by the blurb, disappointed at the start, and then thrown along on an incredible story as the novel continued – but Kiss Kill Vanish brought it all out in the end, and looking back it truly did deserve the five star rating.

One of the greatest strengths in Kiss Kill Vanish was Martinez’s pacing, to the extent that the reader fell in love with each of the boys just as Valentina did. Following this arc in navigating the different male characters offered a greater perspective into Valentina’s character and encouraged the reader to view the story from Valentina’s point-of-view, overlooking subtle foreshadowing and being carried away by the action. Martinez managed to balance this alongside a strong pacing of plot-driven events to create a wholly enticing read.

Romance, crime, teenagers – it all sounds a little predictable, but Martinez worked wonders in this aspect as well. Maintaining the stereotypical predictability in parts, Martinez interwove Valentina’s perspective in others to throw the reader off track, whilst simultaneously throwing the odd curveball to keep the reader on their toes – a combination that, for me, created much more of a rollercoaster than your average crime story.

For me, it says a lot when I still feel the need to award a novel five stars, even when I’ve noticed unedited errors (which, I accept, are inevitable in small numbers) or inconsistencies. In Kiss Kill Vanish these were small (an Emilio when it should have been Marcel, and green coloured $50 in Montreal when Canadian $50 are red), and with the heart-stopping techniques Martinez employed in the literary presentation, easily overlookable in rating. A week on from my novel-induced haze I still find Kiss Kill Vanish to be one of my favourite reads so far this year, with other Martinez novels slipping their way onto my to-read list.

Recommended for fans of:

  • Saving Silence by Gina Blaxill
  • The Dead House by Anne Cassidy
  • Little White Lies by Katie Dale

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